Switzerland 2, Ecuador 1: 2014 FIFA World Cup | Group E Match Recap
The first draw of Brazil 2014 has to happen sometime. This was almost that sometime – but not quite. Three minutes into stoppage time, seconds from the final whistle in the 9th match of the tournament, Haris Seferovic ran onto left back Ricardo Rodriguez's cross from the corner and buried it into the roof of the net to give Switzerland a 2-1 victory over Ecuador in Sunday's Group E opener in Brasilia.
Rare comeback: Switzerland's comeback for all three points, after falling behind 1-0 in the 22nd minute and still being down at the half, was a welcome reversal of their prior World Cup fortunes. Before Sunday's victory, the Swiss were 1-8-1 when trailing at the break.
Unmarked: Enner Valencia's 22nd-minute header for a 1-0 Ecuador lead, off Walter Ayovi's free kick from the left flank, was a lot easier than it should have been. There were four Swiss players arrayed in a neat line on the play, but not one of them got up in the air to try and defend it. Johan Djourou was closest, sandwiched between Valencia and Frickson Erazo, and had a 6-inch height advantage on the 5-foot-9 Valencia. Positioning trumped size, though, and the upset bid was on.
Near-copy: Admir Mehmedi's 48th-minute equalizer for Switzerland, just minutes after he came on as a halftime sub, looked an awful lot like Valencia's goal. It came from the left corner on a set piece – albeit on Rodriguez's corner kickball, rather than a free kick – and featured a perfect delivery for a crisp finish. Mehmedi was marked more closely, with midfielder Carlos Gruezo rising between him and the goal, but he snapped the ball past his man all the same.
Flag Up: Switzerland thought they had gone up 2-1 in the 70th minute, when Josip Drmic took a deflected through ball and put it into the net off Ecuadorian keeper Alexander Dominguez, but the play was ruled offside.
Man of the Match: Rodriguez, who assisted on both of Switzerland's goals and turned in a solid afternoon at both ends of the pitch from the left back spot. His placement made it easy for both finishes.